What Pebble Customers Need to Know About the Fitbit Buyout

Posted in Accessories, Apple News, iOS on 08/12/2016 by Chris Hauk

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Pebble CEO and founder Eric Migicovsky on Wednesday posted a rather lengthy missive to the company’s blog, confirming the smartwatch maker’s buyout by Fitbit. The post included valuable information for customers who were waiting for delivery of their device, and for owners who already have one of the wearables.

What Pebble Customers Need to Know About the Fitbit Buyout

Dear Pebblers,

Thank you all for being such loyal supporters and champions of the Pebble community and brand. You helped start something fantastic when you backed our first Kickstarter project (and shout-out to the first inPulse users). Since then, we’ve shipped over 2 million Pebbles around the world!

However—due to various factors—Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices. This news has several major implications, and we hope to answer as many questions as possible here, in Kickstarter Update #17, and on our Support site.

Migicovsky went on to note that a number of the company’s employees will be joining the Fitbit team to work on projects there. He didn’t offer any specific numbers as to how many employees will be making the transition.

While the blog post included other information about the buyout — with the usual assurances that devices will continue to work, (but don’t expect updates or support) — it also included valuable info for Kickstarter backers who were waiting on delivery of their Pebble 2 and Core wearables:

What you need to know

  • Pebble is no longer promoting, manufacturing, or selling any devices.
  • Pebble devices will continue to work as normal. No immediate changes to the Pebble user experience will happen at this time.
  • Pebble functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future.
  • Kickstarter backers who have not received their rewards will receive a full refund by December 16, 2016 to their credit cards. No further action is needed. For more information, please visit our Support page.
  • It may take up to ten business days for the refund to appear on a backer’s credit or debit card statement. In the event that the initial refund attempt is unsuccessful, steps will be taken to ensure all refunds are successfully processed. Once a refund is successfully processed, backers will receive an email from Kickstarter notifying them of the amount of the refund and the payment source refunded.
  • Orders from pebble.com are no longer being accepted or fulfilled, including Pebble 2 pre-orders, which have not yet been charged or shipped.
  • Warranty support is no longer available for Pebble watches. How-to information and troubleshooting can still be found on our Support page and in the Pebble Forum.
  • Returns of pebble.com orders that were successfully completed before December 7, 2016 will be refunded by our Support Team.
  • Pebble watches purchased at retail may be returned or exchanged based on the retailer’s return policy.
  • Pebblers can still find replacement charging cables and other compatible accessories (bands, skins, etc.) from Amazon.com and third-party vendors like GadgetWraps and Clockwork Synergy.
  • If you have any other questions about Pebble’s wind-down of operations, please visit this page.

Migicovsky assured users their devices would continue to work, and that Fitbit will be maintaining services, so the wearables will continue to work as normal. He did warn that functionality and service may be reduced in the future.

The CEO closed by saying:

It’s a bittersweet day, but I want to extend my biggest thanks to the Pebble community. Personally, one of the best feelings ever is spotting you on the train, running through an airport, or finishing a bike ride and checking your Pebble. If you catch me staring at your wrist (I’ll be the tall guy wearing a Pebble t-shirt), stop me and say “Hi.” If you’re wearing your Pebble, a drink is on me!

Thank you as well to all of Team Pebble—past and present. You’ve worked incredibly hard over the last 8 (!) years and created something amazing. It’s been a pleasure working with you and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the future.

The end of the Pebble is a bittersweet experience for us here at MacTrast. As for myself, it was the first real smartwatch I ever owned, and it clued me in on the possibilities that the new wearable devices offered. I wore my OG device for two years, enjoying every minute of the experience, only prying it from my wrist when I was seduced by the siren call of the Apple Watch. I sold my old reliable to an acquaintance, and the last I heard, it was still happily buzzing away on the man’s wrist. The king is dead, long live the king!


Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described “magnificent bastard,” Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone’s favorite “bad movie” website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.